Like Netflix before it last month, Apple is in talks with Comcast for a deal to let its Apple TV streaming service bypass public web congestion, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The deal affects the so-called “last mile” of connectivity, the part controlled by ISPs like Comcast, whose customers pay for Internet access. The whole infrastructure of the Internet and how something gets from Apple’s servers to your Apple TV is eye-glazingly complex, but to try to put it simply: Apple wants Comcast relay traffic from its set-top boxes separately from public web traffic.
Last month, Netflix worked out a similar deal with Comcast, the nation’s largest ISP, and experts speculated then that the deal wouldn’t entail higher prices for customers—because instead of paying a middleman company for bandwidth, Netflix (and now Apple) is simply paying Comcast.
WSJ’s sources say the deal is in its earliest stages, and neither Apple nor Comcast is commenting, but the latter seems to be sitting pretty. First, Netflix came calling. Now Apple. Roku,you’re on deck. [Reuters]